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Numerology: How to Work out Your Challenge Numbers and what they Mean

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What your Challenge Numbers represent

So I've told you how to work out your Life Path number from your birthday (and if you haven't read that hub the link is at the bottom of the page), and now I'm going to tell you how to work out your Challenge numbers. Your Challenge numbers are derived again from your birthday, but this is one of the rare occasions that subtraction is used in Numerology, instead of adding the numbers together.

We are all born with strengths and weaknesses, and numerology sees life as a learning process that is meant to bring out and improve our talents and skills, and turn our weaknesses into strengths. This is a full completion of our being.

Numerology states that there are four challenges that we face in our lives. For some you can find the same or similar challenges repeated, while other people can have four completely different challenges.

In order to become whole you must face your weaknesses, and put in conscious effort to improve yourself. The challenges that you will face on your life path are there for you to learn specific lessons that will help you and make you stronger, so you will find yourself in situations that require certain characteristics of your Challenge numbers.

The Third or Main Challenge influences you from birth until death, but the other three Challenges are felt at different periods or times of your life. They are all present when you are born, but don't move into action until that specific period of your life approaches.

Your First Challenge begins in the early stages of your life and usually lasts until early mid-life, by which time you will have learnt the lesson required.

Your Second Challenge will move in before you have even completed your First Challenge, and will stay with you throughout most of the middle part of your life.

Your Third or Main Challenge will be felt throughout your life and is felt more intensley than the other Challenges, which makes it unique.

Your Fourth Challenge approaches in mid-late life, and stays with you then for the rest of your life.

How to work out your Challenge Numbers

To find out your Challenge Numbers we use a bit of subtraction, which is one of the few times you will see it used in Numerology. Again using your birthday, but set in the form of month, day and year, in that order. The European style of writing it as day, month and year should not be used.

To work out your Challenge Numbers then follow this example, we will use the birthday of 25th December 1977, which we would write down as so:

12 / 25 / 1977

Month / Day / Year

First we want to reduce the month, day and year of birth into a single digit number, like you did for your Life Path number, but this time Master Numbers being 11 and 22 ARE reduced.

12 turns to 1 + 2 = 3

25 turns to 2 + 5 = 7

1977 turns to 1 + 9 + 7 + 7 = 24

The 24 then turns into 2 + 4 = 6

( Remember, Master Numbers are reduced here, if you come up across 11 or 22 you would reduce by adding the 1 + 1 or 2 + 2 ! )

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So you end up with:

3 / 7 / 6

To find the First Challenge number, we then want to take the digits from the month and day, which are 3 and 7, and subtract the smaller from the larger figure. So we would have:

7 - 3 = 4

The First Challenge is 4

To find the Second Challenge number, we want take the digits for the day and year, which are 7 and 6, and again subtract the smaller figure from the larger:

7 - 6 = 1

The Second Challenge is 1

To find the Third or Main Challenge, take the First Challenge number and Second Challenge number and subtract the smallest figure from the larger. So the First Challenge number for the example is 4, and the Second Challenge number is 1, so we would have:

4 - 1 = 3

The Third or Main Challenge is 3

To find the Fourth Challenge number take the digits of the month and year, which are 3 and 6, and subtract the smaller figure from the larger. So we would have:

6 - 3 = 3

The Fourth Challenge is 3

As in the example, sometimes Challenges are repeated, as we see that the Third and Fourth Challenges are both a 3. When working out your Challenge Numbers it is one of the few times a 0 can appear, and this can happen when 2 figures are the same, for example someone born on 6th June would inevitably have to subtract 6 from 6, which will give you the result of 0. The largest figure you can get when subtracting single digits is 8 ( 9 - 1 = 8), so the Challenge Numbers range from 0 - 8.

Now you have worked out your Challenge Numbers, see what lessons are in store for you!


Challenge Numbers and what they reveal

Challenge Number 0

Your weakness is that you are not personally involved enough with the betterment of the world and mankind. Even though you are aware of natural disasters and those who are sick or poor, or vistims of famine, but you don't allow yourself to get involved.

Many offers of opportunities to involve yourself in selfless acts for good causes will come your way, and you should take as many on as you can realistically handle. These selfless acts will be rewarded by satisfying feelings of personal gratitude, which will enable you to feel more connected to the world and the human race, and this will increase your happiness.

You will also probably come across many different people, from all different walks of life, as a part of Challenge 0 is to learn to be without prejudice.

Challenge Number 1

Challenge 1 will teach you how to become independent, and you will be put in situations where you will have to stick up for yourself and what you believe in. You will face times when you will have a choice of defending your own beliefs or giving in to anothers demands. You will have to put in effort to become stronger and find your own willpower.

You will have to learn to become an individual and not run with the crowd, to be strong and firm, and trust yourself and your judgement. You will have to go through much trial and error, sometimes erupying with bursts of anger, and other times being frightened and intimidated, and letting frustration build up inside you until you are forced to act.

You will find yourself, and discover your own beliefs and values, and you will develop into someone with creative and origional ideas.

Challenge Number 2

You are very self-conscious, and can be overly sensitive and aware of others' expectations. To become incospicuous you suppress yourself, and you worry about gossip. This makes you become inhibited. Because you want to blend into the background, you suppress your own individuality.

You allow your emotions and feelings to take over, and your over sensitiveness causes fear, timidness and low self-confidence. You go through unnecessary emotional turmoil and fear.

Molehills become mountains, and it can have a paralyzing effect. Focus can be out onto jealous feelings which will cause much misunderstanding and pain.

Even though these are all negative parts of the challenge, they all arise from the positive characteristics you have, such as your awareness and intuition, you seem to know how a person feels before they have even spoken.

This challenge helps you to maintain your own center and inner strength, understanding and compassion. You experience great empathy for others, and you would do a lot of good for people suffering with emotional problems.

Challenge Number 3

You suppress yourself, your individuality and creativity, and you are your own worst critic. If you find yourself in a situation where you want to impress, you doubt yourself beforehand and criticize yourself afterwards. You criticize yourself far more than anyone else.

Because of this you tend to play it safe, which will make you superficial. You very rarely let people know how you really feel, and cover your emotions up with the use of humour or superficial remarks.

You can often feel lonely, fearing social activity where you can force conversation and act overly jovial. Writing, painting, singing or dancing may provide you with a healthy way to use your creativity and imagination.

Your challenge is to try to bring out and be your true self. You will learn to believe in yourself and value your own talents over anyone else's judgements. This is a time of freeing yourself from the need to follow the crowd, and becoming a whole human being through individualization and independence.

Challenge Number 4

You tend to be impractical, disorganized and disorderly, and can spend too much time dreaming about plans that have little future or value. You must learn to tell the difference between lead balloons and the ones that will soar!

You often find it difficult to finish tasks that you start, because you lose focus of your vision and go off on a tangent. You must learn to read the small print and take care of the details. Try to keep your surroundings neat, in order, and un-cluttered. Try and be efficient and pro-active.

You will come up against situations where you have to incorporate practicality and organization into your daily life in order to be successful, because you are able to have these skills but you must learn the value of them first.

This challenge will enable you to build a lasting foundation for your life, and it will take much determination and effort. Get-rich-schemes will more than likely backfire, but persistent hard-work is more likely to be the key to your success and happiness.

Challenge Number 5

You want to try everything in life and your need for freedom can become overwhelming. Your need to do everything, go everywhere and try everything can lead to overindulgence, and can lead to addictions such as alcohol, food, drugs and sex.

You must learn to become understanding and tolerant, which will enable you to build and maintain long-lasting relationships, instead of having people in your life who are merely company.

You often feel the urge to change situations the minute they do not suit you, and you must try and overcome this . Stick with plans, keep your realtionships, and don't abandon people or situations as soon as they become a bit difficult.

If the number 5 shows up often in your Numerology chart then this suggests that you have a fear of change and letting things and people go. This stops you from growing, and keeps you stuck in the past. Learn to take risks and become more adventurous.

Challenge Number 6

You lack gratitude, often finding it difficult to feel satisfied with anything that you do, or anything that others do for you. Your expectations are unrealistically high, which makes your life, and the lives of the people around you, a great struggle. You often miss the beauty of life because of this, and suffer from a small rigid minded way of thinking, which keeps you from realising all the many good things you have in your life to be thankful of.

You are unable to see the bigger picture, and this can falsely lead you to believe that you know it all. This keeps you from learning other information and perspectives that would be beneficial to you.

You have a sincere desire to be a service to others, but you must understand also the necessity of working on your own personal development.

You can be domineering and opinionated, often telling people what is wrong and what is right. You often feel unappreciated by others.

You are able to be a service to others, and to teach and heal, but you will need to find a balance between your idealism and your resistance to personal development.

Challenge Number 7

You are skeptical of anything spiritual, or anything that cannot be proven to you. This makes it difficult for you to find a philosophy that's personal to you, that gives you peace of mind and  and insight into the meaning and purpose of your life.

You are a rational thinker and reject much of your natural intuition. You need to find your inner child which you have been repressing.

All the traits that relate to the irrational and holistic side of life, such as spirit, humour, playfulness and intuition, are being shut out. Your challenge is to try and find some philosophy, and ideally a place where people will help bring out your many different characteristics. If you don't you risk being lonely and isolated.

You have to learn to have faith. Not everything is tangeable, much of the world is made up of energy we can't see, such as thoughts, emotions, insight, love, smells and sounds.

You may suffer from having too much pride, and experiencing a deep and meaningful change will set your inner being free.

Challenge Number 8

Your need for financial wealth could very well take over your other human characteristics and spiritual well-being, and you must try not to see making money as the main priority in your life.

This is a challenge to not let financial worries overwhelm your life, and to not allow your desire for wealth to cause you to isolate yourself and miss out on other important parts of life.

For your challenge you may very well find yourself in situations that may try and tempt you to become ruthless in your business practices because of your obsession of the material world. You may even be tempted to cross the line of the law, causing yourself and those around you much pain and misery.

You must learn to become successful without letting the idea of it take over your whole life and being. It is a very spiritual test you will face, but when you overcome it you will be rewarded with spiritual and material balance in your life.

Find out how to work out your Life Path Number and what it means:


GJ56 (author) on April 26, 2011:

Hahaha you don't half make me giggle Mrs. J. B. : D I could easily be bribed with wine, food, pool and jacuzzi anytime! : D

Mrs. J. B. from Southern California on April 18, 2011:

Vern V-E-R-N... LOL... My 1st is a 3, my 2nd is a 1 My main is a 2 and my 4th is 1... HMMM PROZAC? A Bridge? A Couch? LOL..... Loved this hub.. Great writing

Mrs. J. B. from Southern California on April 18, 2011:

I thought I was doing good but wait ... I am sinking like the Titanic... So i will comment on this hub after I read the other hub first unless you want to come over right now... Hey I got wine, tons of food, pool, jacuzzi.. BRIBERY!!!

GJ56 (author) on February 12, 2011:

OMG I did aswell! What a dur-brain! Maybe I should point out to check your figures as it's easy to make mistakes ; ) Thanks for pointing that out to me, I've corrected it now : ) and glad you enjoyed it anyway!

PWalker281 on February 11, 2011:

In your instructions for calculating the second challenge #, it looks like you used numbers for the month and year instead of the day and year. The day is 7 and the year is 6. You used 3 (the month) and 6.

However, once I went through the calculations and read the descriptions, I found them to be extremely accurate. Thanks for sharing. Rated up!

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